In a football sense, the St. Louis Rams need, well, everything in this weekend’s NFL Draft. Save from dynamic running back Steven Jackson, the Rams’ cupboard is pretty bare, a shell of the “Greatest Show on Turf” of a decade ago.
Whether or not those fortunes change in the near future will be due in large part to the strong arm of former Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford. Taken with the No.1 overall pick tonight, Bradford brings from a recovery from senior season injuries and well-demonstrated command of spreading the field to multiple receivers – a trait absolutely critical to NFL success.
Bradford also brings a strong faith perspective in tow to the shadow of the Gateway Arch. Bradford was part of a trio of openly Christian Heisman Trophy candidates feted before the start of the 2009 season.
Of that trio, Tim Tebow has received the most attention, particularly with his Super Bowl ad referring to a pro-life video featuring his parents on Focus on the Family’s Web site.
Colt McCoy made it the farthest – all the way to the BCS National Championship – before a first quarter injury sidelined him. In the game Heisman winner Mark Ingram of Alabama shined, a young man with quite a faith journey of his own to tell.
Bradford called his selection to St. Louis this evening a blessing, and testifying for his faith is nothing new. While at Oklahoma he filmed an online devotional series in conjunction with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
St. Louis has a long way to go to respectability. And even if Bradford eventually becomes a superstar quarterback in the rare air occupied by Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Tom Brady and Brett Favre, there will be plenty of lumps along the way. It’s good for Rams fan to know he already has the ability to keep his life in perspective.